Booking Herschel Walker

November, 7, 2010
Rossen By Jake Rossen

So novelty attraction Herschel Walker is fighting unknown, unheralded Scott Carson on Dec. 4. No one knows what Carson offers, least of all Carson -- he's recorded one fight in the past decade. That invites reactions ranging from "Who cares?" to "sounds reasonable." Walker, after all, is a 48-year-old-man with one MMA fight. Celebrity is not exactly a force field when it comes to getting punched in the face.

I remember seeing Walker on an episode of HDNet's "Inside MMA" years ago. At the time, he and Jose Canseco were floating the idea of a reality TV series where they would both head celebrity MMA squads, then fight one another at the conclusion. At the time, this was as ridiculous a premise as I had ever heard, "Manimal" included. But, shock of shocks, both Walker and Canseco wound up fighting -- Canseco even went for the bigger fish in Hong-Man Choi. Never say never.

I don't envy Strikeforce, which has a lightning/bottle situation in Walker -- a name athlete determined enough to fight -- but can't satisfy anyone in actually booking him. Carson is absolutely an appropriate opponent, but fans want someone with a name to rival Walker's. That leaves Jean-Claude Van Damme, dragging Bo Jackson from his compound, or rubbing the rust off David "Tank" Abbott.

Since shame has no place in MMA promotion, I would happily book Walker versus Batista in a geyser of absurdity. There's no such thing as a "little" indiscretion. You need to go all the way. The only real issue with Carson is not that he's a ridiculous opponent. It's that he's not quite ridiculous enough.

Jake Rossen is a contributor to His byline has appeared in the New York Times,, and numerous other outlets. He began covering mixed martial arts in 1998.



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